Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian from the Islamic Jihad movement during gunfire exchange near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, an army spokesman said.
“A wanted Palestinian terrorist was killed this morning in Bilin during a gunfight with the army while he was in a cave, tweeted army spokesman Avichay Adraee.
Israeli troops stormed the area 10 km northwest of Ramallah around 5 a.m., local witnesses told AFP. They named the dead man as Mohammad Assi, an Islamic Jihad fighter allegedly charged with the Tel Aviv bus bombing which injured 29 people.
“Mohammad Assi, involved in Tel Aviv bombing last Nov., opened fire at security forces and was killed this a.m. in the exchange of fire,” said Peter Lerner, the army's official spokesman, adding that Assi was the “planner” behind the attack.
Lerner said that Israeli soldiers captured another two people who were also implicated in the bombing.
Islamic Jihad made a statement on its website which confirmed that Assi was one of its members and that he was “assassinated by the occupation in Kufr Ne'meh.”
The fighting broke out after Israeli troops entered Bilin then moved into an area between the village nearby Kufr Ne'meh. A cave in the area, believed to be Assi’s hiding spot, was surrounded by Israeli troops and bulldozed.
The Tel Aviv bus bombing on November 21 targeted the nearby defense ministry. The attack occurred amid Israel’s air campaign against Gaza to eradicate rocket exchanges which later ended with a mutual ceasefire.